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Government contractors are often entrusted with sensitive information–crucial to doing a particular job, but can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It has been reported that 50% of Small Businesses have been the victims of cyber-attacks. Private companies contracting with the federal government are always responsible for protecting sensitive or classified data.
This responsibility makes comprehensive cybersecurity measures all the more important. Because of the increasing risk of cyber threats against contractors, the government has taken measures to ensure that contractors increase security protocols to safeguard data. These new cyber regulations are impacting a range of private contractors, and cost is one of the biggest impacts, particularly for smaller contractors who may lack comprehensive cybersecurity and be unable to afford various compliance costs.
For many government contractors, the regulations to adopt and abide cyber security standards can be a difficult and confusing process. Different rules and standards are often issued by different agencies defining cyber security concepts in varying ways. On top of the varying forms of security standards, contractors are also subject to compliance obligations with government cyber security protocols which are not always well clarified by the government agency.
Understanding particular cybersecurity responsibilities resides with the contractor. The consequences of not adhering to these variable network security requirements can include serious penalties, withheld payments, and even termination of a contract. What’s more, contractors with access to classified information must report cyberattacks against their systems to the Pentagon and assist in the investigation of the attacks.
Because of the constant risk of security breaches into a business’ computer network, government contractors are obligated to take thorough, often costly cybersecurity measures. Failing to adopt these measures or ensure that you are compliant with every regulation could result in serious risk to your business. This risk applies to subcontractors as well since these businesses must often mirror the cybersecurity standards of the main contractor corporation for whom they are working.
While implementing some of these security measures may be costly and time consuming, the consequences of not doing so could be catastrophic for business and personal data. Security breaches can devastate a company’s reputation and even force them out of business. Smaller companies can be financially ruined by such attacks, in addition to potentially losing their government contract. For contractors, making cybersecurity a high priority is extremely important to remain in compliance with evolving government regulations and protecting sensitive information on a network.